Raffling off animals falls short of best practices in animal welfare. An animal isn’t the same as a t-shirt or TV for a prize; they are life-long commitments.
Many states have laws to prohibit this practice; however, Texas is not on that list as of August 2022. Before you purchase an animal through an unsafe and cruel practice such as raffle sales, ask yourself if that’s the best decision you can make for the animal.
No credible breeder or animal organization should participate in such a cruel practice; however, some do. There are specific red flags to look out for with breeders, with raffling an animal being one of them. It’s essential to know the current laws and regulations of raffling and what that means for animals in Texas.
Raffling & Texas Law
What is a raffle?
The Charitable Raffle Enabling Act (CREA) defines a raffle as “the award of one or more prizes by chance at a single occasion among a single pool or group of persons who have paid or promised a thing of value for a ticket that represents a chance to win a prize.”
Individuals and for-profit businesses may NOT hold raffles.
Who can conduct raffles?
Under certain conditions, the CREA permits “qualified organizations” to hold up to two raffles per calendar year. All proceeds from raffles must be used for the organization’s charitable purposes.
Qualified organizations include:
- A religious society that has been in existence in Texas for at least ten years
- Volunteer fire department under specific requirements
- Volunteer emergency medical service under specific requirements
- 501(c) tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations that have been in existence for at least three years
What states have laws regulating animals as raffle prizes? (as of 2022)
Texas does not have a specific law regarding animals being raffled or auctioned.
The following 27 states have laws that regulate or prohibit the practice of giving away animals as prizes:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
If you are in the following states that have laws in place, please report to your local authorities when you see it and take photographic evidence both on-site and/or online.
Problems with Raffling Animals
Pets are NOT prizes! The problem with raffling off animals includes:
- Raffles are for ITEMS! NOT for bringing home a new family member.
- Pet ownership is a serious responsibility and lifelong commitment, not one that should be prized off due to winning a game. With the impulsivity of raffles, raffling animals sends the wrong message about how to go about selecting a pet. Without careful consideration and owner preparation, any animal will suffer and potentially land in harmful hands.
- It’s not something a credible animal organization or breeder should ever participate in. Even registered animal breed organizations and clubs such as the AKC, CKC, ASPCA, RSPCA, SPCA and many others discredit raffling animals.
- Unauthorized raffles are considered a form of gambling. Many states prohibit this all together.
- Online platforms, where much raffling happens these days, do not even allow such type of raffling, including Facebook and PayPal.
What can I do?
If you see an animal being raffled, please do not buy it. We encourage you to talk directly to the event host and explain why there should NOT be a raffle.
Additionally, you can give a sample ordinance similarly to Dallas:
ANIMALS AS PRIZES, PROMOTIONS, AND NOVELITIES. (from City of Dallas)A person commits an offense if he sells, exchanges, raffles, auctions, or gives away of offers to sell, exchange, raffle, auction, or give away any live animals as:
1) a prize;
2) an inducement to enter a place of amusement or a business establishment; or
3) an inducement to participate in a charitable fundraising event
Resources for Rehoming Pets
Some people raffle off their pets to make a quick buck in rehoming. Please know there are OPTIONS for you and your family to consider that will affect the rest of your pet’s life. Rehoming a pet is not a decision to be taken lightly.
To read more resources about rehoming your pet, visit our Resource Guide.